As car guys we've all had that moment in traffic where you see something on the road you've never seen before. Whether it's a camouflaged test mule, a preproduction model, or even a strange import. There's something special about making that rare sighting and knowing 90% of other drivers never even notice. Lucky enough, that was us for a day! 

Enter Brandon Lax, an old friend of Charles' from his days with a local Cadillac race team, but that's a story for another time.  

Brandon was testing the all new Volkswagen Atlas for a few weeks and got approval for The Function Factory to create a video overview of the new vehicle. The Atlas is slated between the Tiguan (soon to be updated) and the Touareg in the VW SUV lineup, as a three-row, family SUV. The trim Brandon was testing was the Premium SEL model with 4Motion AWD which starts at $48,490, a $15,000 premium from the base Atlas.  

Working with a very limited time line Charles and I handled this video on our own and got all the filming done in about half a day. We met Brandon at the office at 06:30 sharp, and grabbed our gear and my truck to start off with rolling shots in that gorgeous morning light. We took a few passes down a quiet, scenic local road in order to get the shots we needed before heading back to to the office to pack up the Atlas and drop my truck off. As a family SUV with AWD I thought it would be awesome to show the Atlas getting a little dirty in the mountains, where families may be heading for day trips. We headed about 45 minutes north to the most accessible dirt roads in the valley to get some dramatic shots in the scenery. 

Winding down from the mountains proved to be a spirited ride before we picked up my truck for more rolling shots. After a quick wash in Scottsdale, we hit downtown for some more rolling shots and awesome lighting. At one point we had some of Phoenix' finest checking us out but they didn't seem to mind Charles riding in the truck bed with a Ronin. After a few laps of rolling shots we stopped to shoot the details of the Atlas before wrapping for lunch.

Overall, it was an awesome day capturing some of the best scenery Phoenix has to offer while showcasing VW's newest (and I think best named) offering. The result is this short cinematic highlight oozing with style and passion trademark of The Function Factory. We are enthusiastic about continuing to work with Brandon in the future.

Enjoy the full behind the scenes gallery below: